“Offer for New Customers Only!”
Do You Deserve Your Customers’ Loyalty?
Most businesses would say they value their existing customers, but their actions give them the lie. The biggest reason why your customers leave is because they feel neglected or actively discriminated against.
I’ve lost count of the special promotions that are aimed at new customers only. Recently (after seeing a lot of ‘special offer advertisements’ I called a provider that I’ve been with for several years to ask whether they had any deals for existing customers and pointed out that my payments were about twice their advertised rate.
I was politely told, “These deals are for new customers only.”
The representative didn’t even try to persuade me what fantastic service they would provide or offer any other sweetener. In fact, she was so arrogant that I called a competitor and within a few days had transferred my business.
Now, I don’t have high hopes that this one will be any better in the long-term and I would have preferred to stay with my previous provider for reasons of convenience, but it didn’t make any sense.
Where Has Customer Loyalty Gone? … And Why?
My own story was just an inconvenience. But one of my friends has a scary story about the death of Corporate Caring. They have had private health insurance with the same provider for years, but had rarely claimed much until he had a heart attack.
The medication he was on had some unpleasant side-effects so the cardiologist recommended a surgical procedure which is covered by most health insurance companies including his. Two days before the surgery the medical receptionist called to say that he wasn’t covered…
It turned out that he was on an old policy with twice the premiums that didn’t include this particular procedure. He asked if they could transfer him to the new policy (N.B. He wasn’t asking for a refund of premiums) and was told there would be a 6-month waiting period before the surgery would be covered despite his twenty years with the company.
The Lesson: Don’t take it for granted that your provider will do the right thing and let you know when they have a more suitable policy for you!
The Upside… if You Want to Stand Out, it’s Not that Hard!
Most people don’t want to receive calls from their service providers to tell them about the latest offer, but they do want to know (or be automatically upgraded) when there is a chance to save money or access new benefits.
My telco recently advised me that my premiums had been reduced and my data and speed increased for the remainder of my contract. I didn’t need to do anything to claim it. You would think that my friend might have received a similar service from his health insurance provider. The point is, it’s not common.
I’m always suspicious of companies that offer special deals to new customers and I usually ask what they are offering their existing customers. Mostly, the answer is: “Nothing,” and that doesn’t apply only to big corporations
This leaves the door wide open for you to do better.
What this really means is that unless your customers are buying on price (which is a recipe for disaster anyway), it’s easy to find ways to make them feel special in ways none of your competitors are using.
- offer shorter response times
- provide more personal access
- give early-access to sales and bonuses
- add extra benefits
- give special gifts…
But most of all, you could simply communicate more often and stay in touch so they know you remember them.
Follow up is Very Important for New Contacts
Social scientists have observed that it takes at least 7 ‘touches’ (interactions, mentions, conversations) to open a prospect’s mind and heart and prepare them to do business with you. When those ‘touches’ occur online the number is frequently higher.
I suspect that this is closely related to the stories above… we’re so used to being ignored and neglected that we no longer trust people to take care of us to the best of their ability. I’m not talking about baby-sitting, just decent service and basic information.
When it comes to new contacts… how do you reassure them that you will actually do what you say (or that you know what you claim to know)?
Your time is finite and valuable… and so is your prospect’s time. That’s why I like to use communications that don’t demand that either of you drop what you are in the middle of to talk. Email is great for this. So are voice communications like Voxer and your phone’s answering service because you can leave a message and the other person can listen when they have time.
In principle, the more channels of communication you can use, the better: email, voice, physical mail, video, text… It can be automated, but you should also segment your lists so that the recipient feels that you’re listening to their interests.
Social scientists have observed that it takes at least 7 ‘touches’ (interactions, mentions, conversations) to open a prospect’s mind and heart. When those ‘touches’ occur online the number is frequently higher.
Follow up is Essential for Existing Customers
Before you complain about your customers’ lack of loyalty, ask yourself what you do to make them feel special!
Often the difference between a one-time customer and a multi-year, multi-purchase, referring customer is a simple question of your attention, communication, and thoughtfulness. Every business can do this better.
Here are some ideas:
- Welcome Pack or Shock and Awe Package
- Newsletter (especially one which acknowledges customers by name)
- Direct Mail (letters, cards, and surprise gifts)
- Value- (&/or Entertainment-) laden emails
- Inner-Circle-Only offers
- Opportunities to Promote
- Social Media Mentions / highlights for their business…
Some are small, others take more effort, but you’ll be surprised at how they add up to new opportunities and additional income.
So, what could you do to let your existing customers know that you value them and that they are getting the best possible terms? If you solve this problem, you’ll find that your pipeline quickly overflows with profitable customers you love working with. I know mine has.
The Magnetic Marketing(™) Program… a great place to start
If this is all new to you, I suggest that you familiarise yourself with the basics of magnetic marketing before you do anything else. Based on experience, most marketing consultants don’t really understand the principles and processes of direct response marketing.
If you’d like to learn more about the underlying principles of a Magnetic Marketing System before investing in it you can get a copy of Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing book for just $10 (includes shipping and handling anywhere in the world. Visit https://hiltoncopywriting.mykajabi.com/offers/CXivH6fe/checkout to order your copy.
If you’re in Melbourne, we’d love to see you at our Magnetic Marketing Mastermind which meets monthly on Tuesday evenings in Box Hill. To learn more and sign up for notifications visit https://memg.com.au.
NB: This is not a sales or referral meeting.